Since 1987, North America and Europe have moved to eventually eliminate the production, distribution and use of chlorodifluoromethane, a gas otherwise known as HCFC-22, or simply, R-22. It is an AC refrigerant still in use in many units today. Equipment that uses alternatives to R-22 are also currently available. As older units fall out of use, replacements will either be new or retrofitted to function with an alternative to R-22. Even though it’s being phased out, it can still be used when repairing older units. At Duggan’s One Hour, we work to repair and maintain units that require R-22. We also want you to know why phasing out R-22 is ultimately beneficial for everyone.
HCFCs such as R-22 are rated as having a high potential to deplete the ozone layer. Depletion of the ozone layer allows for increased ultraviolet (UV) rays to reach the earth’s surface. The environmental impact of increased UV radiation is commonly referred to as global warming. The release of AC refrigerant R-22 into the atmosphere is considered to be a contributor to global warming, which may present dire consequences to agriculture, animal habitats, and human health.
What Are the Alternatives to R-22?
The Environmental Protection Agency is enforcing strict quotas for R-22 use. Also, no new equipment has been allowed to use it as a coolant since 2010. In the event that your current unit needs R-22 to function, you may continue to use it. Much of the R-22 in circulation is being recovered and recycled from old equipment. However, refrigerant blends such as R-410A are proving to be better for the environment and more efficient. The blend has shown to be better performing for units with SEER ratings of 13 or higher.